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Boots to Suits helps veterans start, expand business endeavors

2 News' Justin Fischer with Daron Hoggatt
Posted at 10:20 AM, Aug 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-12 19:18:18-04

TULSA, Okla. — The Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs is holding a "Boots to Suits" event this coming week.

The event is on Aug. 15 and 16 at Tulsa Tech Riverside Campus Training Room A144. It's not just for those wanting to start a business. It is also for those wishing to expand theirs.

Daron Hoggatt with ODVA said whatever questions you have, they will get answered.

"A program that is designed to help veteran entrepreneurs," Hoggatt said. "Whether they're starting their business, or they're wanting to expand their business, get into government contracting, exit their business, literally everything from start to finish of a business, so we're going to guide them in all steps to be successful."

Hoggatt said they hit all the main topics and the questions most asked.

"It goes through all kinds of things from marketing, business plans, government contracting, financing, I mean, just literally everything in two days," Hoggatt said. "Financing is the biggest question everybody has when they come in is how do we get financing? There's not a lot of things I can tell them to get away from the fear of that because it is a huge step. But the story I kind of tell people is if you walk off a cliff, one time, one foot at a time, you're going to tumble all the way down, be like a cat jump all feet in one time, and you're going to have more of a chance to jump and land on your feet. "

Hoggatt said the help goes on beyond just two days of classes.

One veteran who knows all about that is David Crawford. He runs Tru-Cleanz Distribution.

"I kind of went backwards, I started the business, and then it wasn't easy, as easy as what I thought," Crawford said."So he helped me and said, okay, you've got this, you got this. But you also need to have your business plan. You've got to have this, you've got to have this, you got to have this. And so he's filled in the gaps that I didn't know I needed and push them in the right direction."

The event is free for military-connected individuals, Hoggatt said.

"So, it can be the veteran, it can be their spouse, it can be their children. So as long as they're military-connected, they can join in on these classes, and there's no charge for anyone on those asking about that how to funds. It's all done through the state. So really the only expense in that is my salary. So, there's we just don't feel that the veteran needs to be charged for those activities. They paid a price enough by going to service and protecting this country."

To register, head to the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs Facebook page.

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